Glitch at NYSE halts trading in dozens of blue-chip stocks

Trading in dozens of blue-chip stocks from ExxonMobil to McDonald’s and Mastercard was briefly halted on Tuesday after problems with the New York Stock Exchange’s opening auction caused sharp swings at the start of trading.

NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, said in a trading update later on Tuesday morning that opening auctions did not occur for “a subset” of companies.

The exchange said it was “working to clarify the list” of companies that were affected; A separate list of trading halts on the company’s website indicated more than 75 stocks were stopped for hitting volatility limits within 15 seconds of the open.

Some stocks such as Wells Fargo plunged more than 10 per cent before recovering the bulk of the losses when trading restarted, while others briefly surged. AT&T jumped as much as 14 per cent before reversing to a 1 per cent decline by late morning.

NYSE said its systems were operational around 20 minutes later and affected companies may be able to claim compensation for losses suffered as a result of the error. Shares in ICE fell 2 per cent on Tuesday, compared with a 0.1 per cent dip in the broad S&P 500 index.

NYSE’s opening auctions use a combination of algorithmic quotes and a physical auction managed by human market-makers at firms such as Citadel Securities, Virtu and GTS.

A person close to one of the designated market makers (DMM) said the problem was due to an error at NYSE, rather than the DMMs.

This is a developing story

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